E-Com, tech companies seek more clarity on proposed Data Protection Bill

    Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways Piyush Goyal has assured that the concerns of the e-Commerce and tech companies will be addressed to the satisfaction of the industry players.

    The e-Commerce industry representatives, who met the minister on Monday raised their concerns before the minister about the e-Commerce draft policy which they felt was not adequately consultative.

    Industry representatives also informed the Minister that the consultations for the Data Protection Bill by MeitY was satisfactory but as a lot of time had elapsed and the industry was not sure about the final shape of the Bill. Secretary MeitY, Ajay Prakash Sawhney, assured the e-Commerce companies that the Bill will reflect all the consultations that had taken place with the industry during the formulation of the Bill.

    The principles of data protection and privacy were discussed at length in the meeting and industry representatives requested the Minister to ensure that the Bill will have more clarity around classification of data and the manner of cross border flow of data. Commerce Minister assured that MeitY will address this concern too.

    The a robust data protection framework that will achieve the dual purpose of privacy and innovation and strengthen India’s position as a global tech leader with focus on trust and innovation.

    The companies meeting put forth their concerns related to RBI data storage requirements and processing related guidelines issued by the RBI. Deputy Governor of RBI, B.P. Kanungo, assured the industry representatives that the Reserve Bank of India will look into this.

    E-Commerce and tech companies also informed PiyushGoyal that the data free flow discussed in the recent G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economywas a positive development for India in principle and India must participate in the discussions on digital trade but issues of concern for the country must be taken up as and when they arise during the G20 discussions.

    Commerce Minister said that MeitY and National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) may deal with the concerns of companies who build products in India and store their data in the country and the Billmust reflect this.

    NASSCOM President, Debjani Ghosh, put forth before the Commerce Minister the necessity of harmony across all policies of all Ministries and RBI which deal with digital trade. She also said that this meeting is happening at an opportune time when India is emerging as a data powerhouse and innovative digital technology is bringing immense economic opportunities and disruptions and allowing Developing and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to leapfrog.

    Commerce & Industry Minister said that this meeting will help the Ministries of Commerce and Industry,MeitY and RBI to work in synergy towards realizing the full use of digital technology together with trade and investment and also be mindful of our national needs priorities and sensitivities.

    Apart from all the major e-Commerce and tech companies in India, the meeting was attended by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, SomParkash, senior officers from Ministry of External Affairs, Department of Commerce & DPIIT. India’s Ambassador to the WTO, J.S. Deepak and President and CEO of Mastercard, Ajaypal Singh Bangaparticipated in the discussions via direct video link.